Buying an EVSE charger is not as complex as it seems. It is just something that sneaks up on most consumers who buy electric cars. They know the automobile does not use gas, they are aware that it uses electricity, but many actually believe it can plug into a wall. They do not realize there is a actually a little more effort that needs to be put in. You may be tempted to grab the best that money can buy and go for a full installation but in many cases, one is not necessarily needed. What is needed is a basic understand of what the different levels of EVSE charging really mean.
A level one charger plugs into a standard socket. That’s it. That is the primary difference between level on and level two. A level one EVSE charger functions more like an adapter and allows current from your home to go into your electric car.
The benefits are that it is less expensive, requires less setup, and is portable. The drawbacks are that level one systems charge slow. They also do not have the capacity for real long distances. Mainly, level one’s are designed for urban areas where they can charge through the night.
Level two chargers are the poster child. Whenever you look at a brochure or advertisement for a electric car there is always a level two charger located nearby. Level two’s do not plug into standard sockets and require actual installation. They are fixed and cannot be ported like level ones.
As stated before they may not be needed in urban areas, however, it does depend on the make and model of your vehicle as well. Many electric cars have required charge rates for their particular battery much like higher-end gas guzzlers require plus instead of regular unleaded.
Level two chargers are made for rural areas without a lot around them. They are great for long distances and if you have to cover one with no public chargers in site a level two is definitely needed. It can get you there and back again without fail. Level twos are also more optimal for the overall health of the battery.
A level three is usually a public charger. They are the reason why a level 2 electric vehicle charging station might not be needed. Public stations are available sporadically in bigger cities as part of a driving green initiative. Some companies and centers employ them as a courtesy for owners who work or visit there. Such stations can give your car a continued charge while it is out and about to compensate for a level one charger.
Level threes are very fast and add minutes of driving time in mere second of operation. If you happen to have one at your work, you may not need a charger at all. They are not standard fare, however, so their presence is very slight. This is why you may have to get creative with your commute to stop and use one.